A Bill to link birth and death register with electoral rolls will be introduced in the next Parliament session, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday.
The Minister said that registration of births and deaths is important for updating citizens’ register, electoral rolls and list of people who avail beneficiary schemes. Mr. Shah was speaking at the inauguration of the new Census building in Delhi.
The decennial Census that was to be completed in 2021 has been indefinitely postponed, initially due to COVID-19 pandemic. The government has not given any specific reason to postpone the exercise which was last done in 2011.
While speaking at the event, Mr. Shah did not mention when the next Census will be conducted but said that registration of births and deaths helps in making development plans in the intermittent period between the two Censuses.
The Hindu reported on October 28, 2021 that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) proposes to amend the Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1969 and maintain the database at the national level that will be available with the Registrar General of India (RGI) to update the Population Register, the Electoral Register, and the Aadhar, ration card, passport and driving licence databases.
Mr. Shah said, “The government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to make such arrangements that as soon as a person turns 18, the Election Commission will intimate him and make his voter card. In case of someone’s death, the Census registrar will send a notice to the family that they have received information about the person’s death and the family has 15 days to object, following which the Election Commission will remove his name from the voter list.”
He said geofencing of blocks to be covered under the Sample Registration System (SRS) is being done so that the enumerator cannot fudge the data and responsibility is fixed.
Mr. Shah also launched an upgraded SRS mobile application system. SRS is a large-scale demographic survey conducted every year by the RGI office to estimate the birth rate, death rate, as well as other fertility and mortality indicators.
“If any official commits fraud, the system will send alerts at national and State levels. If a person tries to conduct the survey from somewhere else, it will be known that the person is not present at the block. Even smallest of errors can have cumulative effect on the entire data,” Mr. Shah said.
He said earlier the census was not accurate. “The government will now conduct the Census electronically where every person will have the right to fill the data which will be verified and audited. This will include more than 35 parameters of socio-economic status.”
He said that data which could be used for framing development schemes were not present in the earlier Censuses, nor was there a system for such data analysis.
He further said basic amenities such as water, electricity, house, and health could not be provided to people for 70 years after Independence because no one knew the budget such schemes would entail. He added that a target for providing houses to all couldn’t be fixed because of lack of required data. He said that such usage of Census was not possible earlier due to lack of access, accuracy, online unavailability of Census and bridge between planning and Census.